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Shangla hospitals short of anti-rabies vaccine.

SHANGLA -- Hospitals in Shangla district have long been short of anti-rabies vaccine (ARV).

Dawn learnt on Monday that except the district headquarters hospital, Shangla, all other health facilities were facing shortage of the vaccine.

In this regard, the young doctor association submitted a letter on Monday to the district health officer Mohammad Riza Khan, in which it pointed out that people from the remote areas of the district were complaining about non-availability of ARV in the tehsil headquarters hospitals and rural health centres, and that they had to sustain extra expenses to get the vaccine from DHQ hospital or DHO office in Alpuri.

The association requested the DHO to ensure provision of ARV in all the health facilities across the district.

Dr Mohammad Sajad, the YDA Shangla president, claimed that several stray dog bite cases had been reported in the district, but due to shortage of ARV, the patients suffered badly.

He said people who came to Alpuri for buying vaccine got only one doze and then they had to visit DHO office or DHQ hospital several times, spending about Rs10,000 to Rs15,000.

'The ARV is available in THQ and other health facilities of the surrounding districts, but not in Shangla,' Mr Sajad said.

Abuzar Khan, an attendant with a stray dog bite victim at the DHQ hospital, said he came to the health facility, where staff injected the patient with one doze and told them to come again for four more injections as normally required for a dog-bite patient.

He said Alpuri was a long distance from his village of Pir Khana and he could not afford huge amount of money incurred on travel to Alpuri.

A doctor at the THQ hospital Bisham also confirmed non-availability of ARV.

Dr Ghafoor, medical superintendent at THQ hospital Puran, said he had requested the authorities for providing them with the vaccine, but to no avail. Several attempts were made to take version of the district health officer about the matter but he did not receive calls on his mobile phone.

However, EPI coordinator Wajid Ali told Dawn that they could provide the ARV in the secondary level hospitals, but currently the vaccine was not even available in the DHO office. He claimed he had sent a demand of vaccine to Peshawar.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 6, 2018
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